If you’re going to do mobile paid search, do it all the way
Published: August 17, 2012
Author: Joe Stanton
Today’s post is from Hugo Guzman, a Miami-based online marketer with nearly a decade of experience on everything from startups to Fortune 100 corporations. Hugo, an editor at marketingland.com, has worked as an in-house marketer for CBS Broadcasting and HSN (Home Shopping Network) and as an executive at two enterprise-caliber interactive agencies.
Few things have been as striking as the growth and penetration of search on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. In just the last 18 months or so, I’ve personally witnessed those segments grow exponentially, particularly from a paid search standpoint, and that anecdotal evidence is further supported by various industry benchmarks.
And yet for many advertisers, large and small, mobile paid search is little more than an afterthought.
In fact, it’s less than an afterthought and is basically squished into the overall paid search strategy and KPIs associated with that strategy, wallowing in relative anonymity. And that’s a huge miss in my opinion because it results in an under-optimized, under-funded, and ultimately underperforming segment of the portfolio.
But the good news for those of you in this position is that many if not most of your competitors are in the same boat, and that provides one of those golden opportunities for differentiation and development of a rather sizeable first-mover advantage.
Here’s a list of basic steps you can take to make sure you’re doing mobile search all the way:
1. Track and report on mobile paid search separately. This includes the basic KPIs such as impressions, CTR, average position, CPC, etc.; it should also extend to financial forecasting and budget-allocation trending.
2. Track the YOY and MOM growth percentage of spend and conversion/revenue devoted to mobile paid search. What gets measured gets done, so understanding how this segment is expanding over time is crucial.
3. Make page-load speed your obsession. I know it’s been said before, but it bears repeating. Nothing impacts mobile conversion more than page-load speed, so get rid of superfluous code, unnecessary redirects, etc. It’s all about speed, speed, speed.
4. Further segment your mobile reporting into smartphones vs. tablets. I’ve seen data from a variety of businesses that strongly suggests that visitors on smart phones behave in a very different manner than visitors on a tablet. This is especially true if your business caters to customers in higher income brackets. In a nutshell, smartphone users engage and research, but tablet users buy a lot and often spend a lot of money and buy multiple things when they buy.
This is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of breaking out mobile paid search strategy, but I think it’s a good start. But even if you go a different route, just remember to do something, because this facet of paid search advertising is ripe for the picking.
– Hugo Guzman